Fall family fun in the High Country this weekend! (October 12-14)

The crisp fall air has arrived! It is going to be a beautiful fall weekend. Grab your hoodies and have a wonderful family time at one or all of these events this weekend.

Tweetsie Railroad Halloween Festival

When: September 21–22, 28-29; October 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27

Where: Boone/Blowing Rock, NC
Ghost Train rides, haunted house, black hole, 3-D Maze, freaky forest, face painting, clogging, spooks, and other such Halloween mischief. Safe Family adventures. Best bet is to purchase tickets in advance.

Cost: Admission is $38, and children 2 and under are free)

Click for More Info

Daniel Boo!

When: October 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27

Where: Haunted Horn’s Family Friendly Event

During the Daniel Boo! hours (6:00-7:30 pm), guests of all ages can come enjoy some spooky, no-so-scary fun. Both children and parents alike can play fall-inspired games, win prizes, wander through the Wacky Woods on an interactive scavenger hunt, and much more! Also new this year is Witch Craft, a beer garden featuring local breweries.

Ticket prices:

*Daniel Boo!: $10 for ages 3-17. Parents are FREE with purchase of child’s ticket, 2 and under also free. (If parents wish to come back after dark for our main haunt, they can upgrade their ticket at the door for $10)


Sugar Mountain OktoberFest

When: October 13-14, 2018; 10AM-5PM

Where: Sugar Mountain, NC

Over 40 artisan’s and craftspeople open their stands at 10:00 am each day. A sampling of this year’s vendors includes: chair canning, wooden toys, oil paintings, stain glass, handmade furniture, dolls, copper art, ceramics, honey, beeswax candles, birdhouses, and much more.

Enjoy the beautiful fall foliage and a panoramic view of the surrounding area from the mile and a half long chairlift ride to Sugar’s 5,300 ft peak. Everyone, even mountain bikers are welcome to ride the lift.

The children’s activity center, located in the Ski School Play Yard will keep the young ones entertained from noon until 5:00 pm Saturday & Sunday.

Kids can enjoy hayrides, inflatable bounce houses, and a chance to meet Sugar Bear & Sweetie Bear. Cotton candy, popcorn, caramel apples, homemade cookies, and drinks are also available in the children’s activity center. All ages are welcome to participate.

Cost: Free

Click for more info

Todd New River Festival

When: October 13, 2018 – 9am – 5pm

Where: Todd, NC

Music (some of the best bluegrass in the High Country), crafts, family activities, moonwalk, rubber ducky race on the river, and more in the historic railroad boomtown of Todd.

Cost: FREE

Click for more information


Don’t forget about experiencing a corn maze trip this fall!

Anyone Can Dance {pay-what-you-can dance classes}

Did you hear about the new dance program in the High Country?

Anyone Can Dance! is a dance program offering classes in ballet and tap to children ages 3-12 in the Boone area through Northwestern Studios. The program is structured with a sliding scale payment plan depending on income. Donation amounts will be kept private. Classes are taught by Appalachian State students who have a background in dance.

All classes are combination classes, meaning that they are split into two sections. Each class will have a ballet and tap section and students will learn both disciplines each week.

Emily Sharpe says, “I was fortunate enough to come from a family that could afford dance lessons and all the supplies that come with it-costumes, shoes, leotards, tights, etc. However, there are many children who do not have access to dance classes for financial reasons. Dance can be very expensive, especially to pursue more than one area of dance. I want every child to be able to be able to dance and express themselves, so I started Anyone Can Dance!”

For more information on classes and how to enroll your child, please visit the Anyone Can Dance! website.

Blazing Easels Workshops for Kids at App State

It’s an exciting time of year. School is back in session, fall is around the corner, and the Blazing Easels Workshops begin on September 7, 2018.

Young artists will create art in a variety of mediums including collage, painting, drawing and three-dimensional art using found objects. Participants will explore line, shape, color, texture, value, space and form in a relaxed, inviting small group setting.

Date(s): September – November 2018
Location: TCVA Room 3200
Audience: Children, ages 7 -12
Cost: Fall Semester Pass: $55 (11 sessions); September Pass: $24 (4 sessions); October Pass: $18 (3 sessions); November Pass: $24 (4 sessions); Single session: $7. Pre-registration required.

The instructor, Felicia Sutton, is attending Appalachian State University for her fourth year, and is currently majoring in visual arts and culture with a concentration in studio art. She is pursuing two minors: psychology and anthropology. Felicia loves working with children and has many years of experience doing so. She hopes to work with children in the future, either in education or art therapy.

Upcoming dates and times:

Friday, September 7, 2018 3:00pm – 4:30pm Blazing Easels (Children)
Friday, September 14, 2018 3:00pm – 4:30pm Blazing Easels (Children)
Friday, September 21, 2018 3:00pm – 4:30pm Blazing Easels (Children)
Friday, September 28, 2018 3:00pm – 4:30pm Blazing Easels (Children)
Friday, October 5, 2018 3:00pm – 4:30pm Blazing Easels (Children)
Friday, October 19, 2018 3:00pm – 4:30pm Blazing Easels (Children)
Friday, October 26, 2018 3:00pm – 4:30pm Blazing Easels (Children)
Friday, November 2, 2018 3:00pm – 4:30pm Blazing Easels (Children)
Friday, November 9, 2018 3:00pm – 4:30pm Blazing Easels (Children)
Friday, November 16, 2018 3:00pm – 4:30pm Blazing Easels (Children)
Friday, November 30, 2018 3:00pm – 4:30pm Blazing Easels (Children)

How to register:

Call 828-262-3017, or stop by the front desk to register for any Turchin Center workshop.
Address: 423 West King Street, Boone, NC 28607

Celebrate Labor Day Weekend at Beech Mountain’s Kite Festival

Both Saturday, September 1st, and Sunday, September 2nd, the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce hosts the 18th annual Mile High Kite and Craft Festival.

The event takes place from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm each day. The first 150 kids (10 & under) on each day of the festival will receive a FREE decorate-it-yourself kite! We will have a kite-decorating station and ample space for kite flying. In addition to kite-related activities, we will have ticketed kiddie amusement rides, a local DJ and regional kite clubs who will fly some HUGE and impressive kites – you’ll have to see them to believe them! Peruse the offerings of local and regional arts, craft and novelty vendors, and even get your face painted. Saturday at 4:00 pm, a FREE Street Dance will take place on the Kite Field, so be sure to stick around. This is a family-friendly event you will not want to miss! The Kite Festival is FREE to attend, with a $5 cash donation for parking.

Kite Field adjacent to Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria
402 Beech Mountain Parkwway
Beech Mountain, NC 28604

This weekend is the 2018 TubeFest!

Summer is not over yet! Create more family memories this weekend at the 2018 TubeFest!

Float the scenic New River for a one hour ride and pay only $10 which includes tube and shuttle. This is an annual Park fundraiser for the Green Valley Community to help maintain the park as a primary public river access.

Date: Sat., August 25
Time: 10:00 – 4:00 pm at
Place: Green Valley Park.

There will be a food truck on site and free parking. Please bring appropriate swimwear, river shoes, hat, shades and sunscreen! Don’t forget the towel!

For more information, visit the Green Valley Community Park website.

Appalachian Home School Physical Education Program

BOONE, N.C. — Local kindergartners through middle schoolers will once again have the opportunity to flex their physical — as well as social — muscles through Appalachian State University’s 2018–19 Home School Physical Education (PE) Program. Additionally, two new components of the program will allow pre-K children and parents of children in the Home School PE Program to be active as well.

Classes begin Sept. 11 and will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 1–1:50 p.m. The annual cost for the program, which is designed for children ages 3–12 and is held on Appalachian’s campus, is $30 per child.

The Home School PE Program is part of the Beaver College of Health Sciences’ health and physical education, K-12 degree program at Appalachian and is overseen by Dr. Brooke Towner, lecturer in the college’s Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education. She has many years of experience working with children in both academic and recreational settings.

“Regular participation in physical education classes can provide significant benefits for children in all the developmental stages of life,” Towner said. “Some of the amazing benefits students can experience through this quality physical education experience are physical improvements in physical fitness and fundamental motor skills, mental improvements in confidence and well-being, and behavioral improvements in attention and interacting with peers.”

The Home School PE Program uses the innovative SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids) physical education curriculum, which has been shown in a variety of research studies to improve students’ motor skills and fitness, and to be enjoyable for students.

According to its website, SPARK “strives to improve the health of children, adolescents, and adults by disseminating evidence-based Physical Education, After School, Early Childhood, and Safe and Healthy Students programs to teachers and recreation leaders serving Pre-K through 12th grade students.”

This year, two additional physical activity programs will be offered in association with the Home School PE Program:

  • The Play Pen — Play Pen activities are designed for children ages 3 and 4 and will be structured using the SPARK early childhood curriculum. The curriculum is designed to provide children with high activity, including academically integrated, enjoyable movement opportunities that foster social and motor development.
  • The Parent Pack: Parents Walking Program — Parents are encouraged to be active, too, while their children are involved in the Home School PE program. This parent-centered physical activity program will consist of a structured walking program led by a junior-level health and physical education major at Appalachian. During the walks, participants will have the opportunity to discuss various physical activities and health topics with these student leaders.

For more information about the Home School PE program, contact Dr. Benjamin Sibley at sibleyba@appstate.edu or 828-262-6300, and/or Towner at townerbc@appstate.edu.

ASU UREC Offers Learn To Swim Group Lessons

Summer is almost here and that usually means time at the pool. ASU released their summer swim lessons schedule.

Children’s swim lessons for summer semester first session will begin on Monday, June 4th. Deadline to register is Friday, June 1, 2018.
Children’s swim lessons for summer semester second session will begin on Monday, July 9th. Deadline to register is Thursday, July 5, 2018.
The registration form may be found on the aquatics website.

Adult swim lessons will begin on Monday, June 18 @ 6pm-6:45pm for six Monday classes. Deadline to register is June 8. The registration form may be found on the aquatics website.

Contact Cheryl Eddins at eddinscj@appstate.edu for more information.


Registration Fees

  Each Child
ASU Student $25
Other $40

UREC policy does NOT allow strollers


  1 Child 2 Children 3 Children
ASU Student $35 $70 $105
Other $52 $98 $138



Each session is scheduled for 4 weeks, twice a week for 8 classes.

Infant/Toddler (Parent Participates) and Pre School Classes are 30 minutes in length.

School Age classes are 45 minutes in length

Make Ups

If the University cancels class due to weather or pool related problems, make ups will be scheduled when time allows.

Refund Policy

All registrations require full payment. If a participant cancels or withdraws from the program 30 days before the start date, payment minus a $25.00 processing fee will be refunded. If a participant withdraws within 30 days of the program start date, the entire payment is non-refundable. University Recreation reserves the right to cancel the program. A full refund will be given if University Recreation cancels the program for any reason.

It’s time for the Wee-Cycle Children’s Consignment Spring/Summer Sale

Are you ready to kickstart your spring cleaning? Wee-Cycle is accepting consignors for their upcoming spring/summer consignment sale. It is easy and fun to be a consignor! Consignors earn 60% of their sale price and determine their own prices. (You can earn up to 70% by volunteering at the sale!)

Spring and Summer clothing will be accepted at this sale, in addition to toys, books, baby equipment, children’s furniture, car seats, sporting equipment, and more.

Important Dates for consignors:
DROP OFF –  Monday, April 9 (12:00-8:00) and Tuesday, April 10 (10:00-12:00)
CONSIGNORS PRE-SALE – Thursday, April 12th
PUBLIC SALE – April 13-21, 2018

Please note new location:

Right off of Highway 421 near Tractor Supply on Old 421.

2447 Old 421 South, Boone, NC 28607

For more information and contact information, please visit Wee-Cycle’s website.

Let’s Celebrate Easter: 2018 High Country Family Easter Events

Can you believe Easter is soon? There are lots of fun family events in and around the High Country. Check out the great events! If you have an Easter event that you would like added, please contact us.

March 24: Easter Egg Festival & Hunt at Memorial Park in Blowing Rock 

Annual fun for kids & families! Games & Activities, Petting Zoo, Face Painting start at 10:00am. Egg hunt is at 11:00am.

March 24: Easter Egg Hunt in Banner Elk


March 24: The Annual Downtown Boone Easter Eggstravaganza 

Starting at 10 am, there will be programming for kids of all ages at the Watauga County Library. Activities will conclude at noon inside the library.

At 10:15 am, we will hold the 4-7 year old’s Egg Hunt first, on the lawn of the Library.

Around 10:30 am, we will do the 0-3 year old Egg Hunt.

*In the event of rain or snow, we will not do the outdoor egg hunt, however the activities will still take place indoors.

From 10 am until 2 pm, select merchants in Downtown Boone will host a scavenger Egg Hunt for kids between the ages of 8 and 12. To participate, you can pick up your scavenger hunt clue card from the Youth Resource desk at the Library. You will follow the clues to the different businesses, collecting eggs and stamps along the way. Kids can drop off completed clue cards in the night deposit box at Town Hall (567 W. King Street); several grand prize winners will be drawn from the pool of completed cards and winners will be announced Monday, March 26th. Adult supervision is required, and the scavenger hunt will take place rain or shine!

March 31: Beech Mountain’s Hoppy Easter Party

Join Beech Mountain for an Egg-straordinary Party & Easter Egg Hunt at the Buckeye Recreation Center on Saturday, March 31st. From 10:00 am – 12:00 pm the whole family will enjoy breakfast, games & activities. This event is geared toward families with children 12 & under. Call the Rec. Center at (828) 387-3003 for more information.


Drop-in Hourly Childcare Arrives to Boone!

Kid Cove is the newest childcare option in the High Country. They are locally owned and operated by two ladies who have worked, taught, and directed in early childhood programs for eight years now. We know the need for more quality childcare in the High Country and are so excited to be able to bring this service to more families. Kid Cove offers half-day preschool where children learn developmentally appropriate skills and learning concepts. The motto is: we play, we learn, and we grow at Kid Cove!

Kid Cove also offers hourly drop-in childcare so that families can drop their children six months-12 years off for a max of 4 hours each day or when needed. Our pricing, parent handbook, and other information can be found on our website, kidcoveboonenc.com.

Open House for the Community is Thursday, February 1st! The official opening is February 5th!